Sunday, March 23, 2008

100 Things I'd Do If Money Was No Object

I come up with ideas all the time that end in "if I just had the time and money to do it". Really though, if money was no object I could hire the right people to make many things happen, so it comes down to money as the key issue. I'll be working through this as a work in progress until I end up with a hundred of them, but here's what I have so far:

  1. Create a series of books, workshops, and tools to help people enjoy their lives more.
  2. Start scholarships and grants for people who aspire to take their passions and run with them
  3. Run a marathon
  4. Tour the world blogging my experiences through my words, photographs, sketches, and scans of documents I find along the way
  5. Find foster or adoptive homes for children that need them
  6. Build a human scale, functioning house out of Lego
  7. Buy a cabin near Manzanita, Oregon and a house in the borders of Scotland and travel between those and my home in Arizona as I please
  8. Learn to play a musical instrument and join a local band
  9. Take volunteerism vacations at least once a year, going to a new place and spending some of the time relaxing but also spending some time giving to that community with my time and resources
  10. Create and manage a Life Hacking club in my community
  11. Hire a chef and make it a lot easier to eat healthy/organic
  12. Set up a leadership development program independent of any corporation that would take a set number of aspiring college graduates or individuals, train them for one year on how to be a leader in any organization, regardless of title or position, and then turn them loose on the world of business
  13. Create an after school program for teens/young adults to teach them about money, leadership, community - give them a sense of power through doing good works and being smart about using their resources (time, money, etc.)
  14. Unlimited supply of blueberry coffee
  15. Start a television news program that provides encouragement, hope, and ways to better your life (instead of what politicians and celebrities have been doing or saying)
  16. Do a weekly pod-cast interview of a family with a loved one in Iraq/at war
  17. Find places without access to local farmers' markets, and help get them going
  18. Go around the United States interviewing educators, parents, kids, administrators, politicians, and build a documentary about how we might go about improving public education in America
  19. Play Scrabble professionally
  20. Pay for anyone's college education if they'll spend twenty hours a week working at a charitable organization/endeavor of their choice while finishing their degree
  21. Open a restaurant haphazardly and have Gordon Ramsey come fix it for me
  22. Open a CD recycling center in every major city in America
  23. Visit every museum in the world
  24. Attend business seminars I'm interested in whenever and wherever they may be
  25. I would tip with large bills and write a note to each server telling them what I appreciated about their service
  26. Buy copies of my favorite personal development books and give them to friends or acquaintances as opportunities/occasions present themselves
  27. iPhone
  28. Create a device that allows parents to limit the amount of time a video game system will function each day (so that whatever anyone without, say, the remote control AND password does, it won't come back on for a set period of time)
  29. Create a powerful lobbying firm in Washington to lobby for severely regulating the power of lobbyists :)
  30. Create an artist's studio to produce the graphic novels I have floating around in my head - eventually open an amusement park based on the creations (or at least a casino in Vegas)
  31. Start a grant for people who want to create bizarre roadside attractions in the middle of nowhere for people to stop and see on their way to other places
  32. Make The Winter Festival of Pie a national past-time
  33. Build a robot to fetch me coffee and cereal in the morning and make sure my fuzzy bear slippers are heated up when I step into them in the evening
  34. Hire the best craftsmen to design the interior and exterior of our house to our liking (and the homes in Oregon and Scotland too, of course)
  35. Start my own publishing company
  36. Hire personal chefs and trainers for everyone trying to lose weight sensibly
  37. Start a fast food chain that sells food that is both healthy and cheap

Friday, March 21, 2008

100 People I'm Thankful For (and why)

  1. S S - one of the nicest, most genuine people I know, and a big inspiration for me writing a book about people doing what they're passionate about (and being more passionate about what they're doing)

  2. B P - every encounter is amazing, there are few people in this world I have learned more from

  3. G A - synonymous with "whoo hoo!", a phenomenal passion for life

  4. D H - taught me the value of mutual mentorship

  5. M M - I thought I was easy going until I met M M

  6. B C - reminded me of the importance of family

  7. Y L - was more of a positive influence on my life and soul than I believe she realizes

  8. V S - I really honed my communication skills with our years of late night conversations

  9. T W - I learned that there are things in this world you can't change, no matter how much effort you apply - and that the best you can possibly hope for in situations like that is the ability to let go, move on, and pray for the best. I also learned love, of many different kinds.

  10. R H - my experience with R H taught me that I needed to figure out what the Iain I wanted to be looked like, and energized me to begin striving for that.

  11. J C - I'm thankful to J C for showing me there are many ways to look at things in life, and just because they aren't yours at the time doesn't make them necessarily wrong

  12. L H - Pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and explore life a lot more

  13. J M - the thankfulness and appreciation he brings to everything he experiences in life is inspiring

  14. V C - I have had my eyes opened to the important role I think I need to play in the lives of children in my future, and that was inspired by you more than any other

  15. N A - I think you are the most likably unique person I know, quirky, crafty, fun-hearted, and of course there's the pie...

  16. A B - I regret I haven't been able to spend more time in person with you, but at the same time I think the smile your existence brings me just through the inspiring conversations we've had over the internets is... well, I definitely appreciate you

  17. A P - Everyone needs an A P, whether they know it or not. Whenever I think about taking the easy way out, or just settling for average, A P is often the voice that makes it impossible to not strive for excellence.

  18. Z G - The most impressive thing about Z G is his passion. Listening to him speak about the passion he has for his work, for his family... for everything he takes to heart in life, has been absolutely empowering and led in no small way to growing my own attitude of "run it like you own it" to everything important in life.

  19. N A - Her heart is matched only by her glowing spirit and love of life. Gotta convince her to move to Arizona someday. :)

  20. R C - Your presence makes me smile 100% of the time, and your words always offer an amazing, different perspective that I'd never seen before. I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to get to know you.

  21. M M - There are many amazing qualities you possess that I have come to appreciate, but one that is unique and really shines is your style. How you carry yourself, how you express yourself through words, attire, and the choices you make... it is just a joy to experience. To interact with you is to interact with a work of art.

  22. N A - My first formal mentor in my career path, and one of the most generous people with his time and insight I have known. You encourage me to share what I have learned on my own path to success with others, mentoring others as you mentored me.

  23. K N - A muse, a spirit guide, and a friend in the truest sense. Some people pass through your life, do their part, and move on. Others, rather than doing their part, become a part and stay with you along the entire path. You don't just inspire me, you are synonymous with inspiration - when I experience inspiration, it often reminds me of an experience or conversation you and I have had.

  24. M L P - One of the most incredible leaders I have met, I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to continue experiencing that leadership firsthand

  25. C B - I am at my most encouraged after even the briefest of conversations with C B.

  26. M R - I admire in you your will to push forward, and no matter what lands on your plate to take it, own it, and make sure it gets done (and done well).

  27. M R - I believe people all too often put far too little initial trust and faith in their fellow man, which in turn becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when they fail to live up to hopes. You take the road of placing that high level of trust and respect in those you interact with and those you manage, and I admire that and believe it is a method that will lead to greater success and a more enjoyable work environment for all.

  28. A L - You taught me to suck it up when the going gets tough.

  29. M G - There is, for whatever reason, a big difference between friends doing business with one another, and people doing business together becoming friends. The former is a dangerous proposition, unfortunately, but I'm thankful to the good times we spent and to the lesson learned.

  30. G B - You put this crazy notion in my head that I can do anything I set my mind to. Others said it to me before, but you're the first person who got me to listen and believe.

  31. T B - I really enjoy your down to earth, quiet, respectful approach to things, and your insightful encouragement.

  32. B O - No matter what happens, you have already made a huge and positively powerful difference

  33. D M - Gave me the opportunity to return the favor

  34. A B - It's never too late, there's always opportunity so long as the spirit remains

  35. A V - Gentle giant

  36. J C - Thanks for letting me talk so much through with you - yours is a friendship I constantly grow from

  37. S K - One of the most treasured and rare of friends is one who will rip your idea to shreds to show you what it's composed of, what needs to be added, and what needs to be expelled

  38. P B - Your constant, calm leadership is profound

  39. M E - It is truly one of life's great joys to have someone to verbally spar with and give such a hard time to, especially when it's all built on a foundation of respect.

  40. K J - Sometimes it is less about the cards you are dealt, and more about which game you play with them

  41. G H - Your devotion to your beliefs and the fact that you practice what you preach is just impressive and to be emulated.

  42. T M - Taught me that things are just things, they don't make a life and if you lose them you'll probably still be just fine (maybe even happier)

  43. D K - Thanks for your vision and finding out what might happen if people actually liked what they did for a living more often

  44. L L - You are undeniably a leader

  45. P B - Helped us leave a house and create a home

  46. J M - That my sister-in-law is someone I would choose as a friend is a nice bonus

  47. M G - Thanks for the opportunities you have brought to my life and your unique perspective

  48. C W - It was/is a joy to be your buddy, and I look forward to the great things you'll accomplish

  49. B S - You grew my confidence in being me far more often

  50. G H - My favorite human being

  51. M M - Exhaustingly fun

  52. H M - Your smile and laughter are infectious

  53. L W - Thanks for your encouragement, professionalism, and support

  54. C R - I miss our conversations. The closest I have ever come to enjoying gossip, or at least our particular version of it

  55. L S - Moo

  56. L K - My transformation from cat lover to dog lover is complete, thanks in no small part to your efforts (cats are still "okay")

  57. M B - I have so much respect for how much respect you have for others

  58. P H - The most tenacious person I know

  59. W H - My hero in life

  60. D H - Helped me understand how important closure is sometimes

  61. G H - Taught me the strengths and perils of rescuing others

  62. J P - I won the parents-in-law lottery when I married my wife

  63. J P - See number 62 above

  64. S C - Believed in and encouraged me like few have, in an environment I didn't expect to find that sort of courage, leadership, and generosity of spirit.

  65. C R - You are the brightest spirit in any room, it is amazing to know you

  66. A T - An amazing listener, you have been my ear and my guide through some critical decisions

  67. R D - One of the easiest persons to talk to I have known

  68. K P - Pushed me to dig deeper and not prejudge

  69. L K - You make people glow

  70. L T - When I reflect on your words I always feel a bit more grateful for my life

  71. J D - You helped me keep my life/work balance

  72. P S - Helped me figure out what I want and what I don't

  73. L S - Life is fun and short and wonderful

  74. J J - Taught me I was capable of a lot more love, trust, and respect for my fellow man than I was giving

  75. L M - A mentor, a friend, and my best man to boot.

  76. C P - Opened me up to a new form of music, inspired me to enjoy every moment a little bit more.

  77. W G - You taught me I need to know what the heck I'm talking about before I open my mouth, or I'll have to deal with the consequences of not doing so.

  78. Y S - One of the most disciplined individuals I know, I'm so grateful for the fortitude you infused in me

  79. D T - Taught me how to enjoy my time as a bachelor. Baseball games are now never going to be baseball games without sunflower seeds and a cold frosty one.

  80. P T - One of the lessons I needed to learn as an aspiring manager and leader is that everyone has different goals, everyone is motivated by different things, and they might not even be things you can relate to. You have to be aware of all of this, to be effective at working with others towards a common goal, and to be effective in getting the best efforts from all involved. You gave me critical insights into all of this.

  81. R C - Incredible wisdom, great sarcastic sense of humor, caring human being, good Las Vegas travel companion - you are a fantastic friend.

  82. F R - No one gave me a better example to follow of how to love my fellow man than you. How many lives did you transform with just a smile, a song in your heart, and a trolley car?

  83. M D - I've met many in the past year that have encouraged me to become the best me I can be, but you opened my eyes to something critical - just because people said I was no good at sports and physical activities growing up doesn't mean I can't be. I've let those voices hold me back from what I can become, without realizing it, for 33+ years! Thank you for being a voice that said "yes you can".

  84. A S - You helped me realize a dream I had last year - we could not have accomplished what we did without your help. I'm looking forward to taking things to the next level with this project we've taken on this year!

  85. A F - You have the coolest job ever. So glad I get to benefit from it now and then. :)

  86. E M - A very kind heart, you are one at the top of my "wish I knew them better" list. I think you are already amazing and hold the potential to be extraordinary in ways you haven't realized yet.

  87. C N - It has been incredible to see you transform as a leader, and I am honored to have been able to witness it happen.

  88. E S - Thanks for standing up for me when no one else would. You may not know, but it meant a lot to me, and is a defining moment in who I am today.

  89. J M - Maybe the only person I know who knew exactly what he wanted to do growing up, went out and did it, and has been hugely successful at it. I should interview you for the book I'm writing!

  90. C W - Wonderfully caring, geeky, and crafty, it's always a fun experience to experience you.

  91. J C - My favorite human being that ever was. They should write a book about him or something :)

  92. D B - The first author about money that ever made me consider why I might actually want more of it, before telling me some ways I might get it.

  93. S M - I have an attitude that just because no one has successfully done something before, doesn't mean it can't be done or that I shouldn't attempt it. Scott had a big role in infusing that with me, by the example of his own work.

  94. J R - I've known most of your characters longer than I've known most of the people I consider close friends and loved ones, including my wife, and they continue to bring me joy

  95. X X - Your vision for the work you've accomplished is heartening, and I am proud to have been a part of it along my path

  96. M E - Mo has more wisdom in his left pinky finger than I have in my whole being. I am sad to not be able to experience it more frequently.

  97. C M - Taught me to do the things I am most passionate about in life, and inspires me to be unafraid to be different, unique, and blue and furry with googly eyeballs

  98. A W - I knew there was more to sequential art as a communications medium than superheroes and Daffy Duck, but Andi was the first proof to my eyes that I was onto something true

  99. M R - Marie is the tie to the wilder things of my past, and is woven into much of the creative efforts of my presence.

  100. I H - I don't know where I'd be without me. As luck would have it, I find me to be pretty good company to be around.